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Crime History: Pennsylvania state treasurer kills self on live TV

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Jan. 22, in 1987, on the eve of his sentencing for a bribery conviction, Pennsylvania state Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer shot and killed himself at a news conference on live television.

Dwyer, who was facing up to 55 years in prison, called reporters to his office. They assumed he was going to announce his resignation.

Instead, Dwyer read a statement for 20 minutes declaring his innocence.

He then pulled a .357 Magnum revolver from an envelope and said, "Please leave the room if this will offend you."

Amid pleas from reporters and staff to put the gun down, the 47-year-old Republican put the gun barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

The suicide led to debates about boundaries in journalism.

- Scott McCabe

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